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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

slug pellets

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 17:33

To make sure snails don't return, 90 feet (say 30 metres) is a minimum. To be sure, it should be 100 metres (300 ft). I will paste in here the research that showed this, and if it prints as coded rubbish, just take my word for it:

<Now, Radio 4 is launching its search for the next BBC Amateur Scientist of the year.

Last year, 70-year-old gardener Ruth Brooks won the award for her research into the homing distance of garden snails.

She found that Helix aspersa, the common garden snail, can find its way home from up to 30m away. But for gardeners to be sure that their snails will not come back, they should be moved over 100m.>

First early potatos

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 17:26

Earlies won't store very well - they are small and lose moisture easliy, and they'll lose some of that lovely earthy freshness. Just use them as you need them - you don't even need to pull up a whole plant at once at first, you can just feel around in the soil and pick out a few potatoes, leaving the rest to grow on. If you're keen to clear the space, I suppose you could try storing some in a bucket of soil for while, but I've never tried this.

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 16:49

Thanks for that. Now all I need is for the rain to hold off long enough, and I'll be out there with the secateurs.

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 09:33

I have a well established Photinia Red Robin, which had lovely red shoots that are now maturing and turning green. I know that if I prune it back this will encourage new red shoots, but I can't remember when to do this. Is now a good time?

leeks

Posted: 14/06/2012 at 09:29

You're supposed to to the transplanting/dibber thing when the leeks are about as fat as a pencil. Mine are not that fat yet but I've transplanted some anyway, and I think they'll be fine. You make a good deep hole and drop the leek in, so that all the white and some of the green is in the hole. Then you water them in (or at the moment you just scamper indoors), and gradually the hole will fill up.

If yours are still very skinny, it might be worth thinning them out a bit if they're growing very close. You can use the thinnings like chives, or heel them in a corner somewhere and they may grow to a useful size. Then let the remaining leeks grow on a bit until they're big enough to transplant.

When do you buy your seeds?

Posted: 13/06/2012 at 17:08

I'll second the vote for premier seeds direct on eBay. I also buy online from Moreveg, who are good for small quantities of seeds, low prices, amd a great variety to choose from. And I keep an eye out for free seeds with magazines.

I keep my seeds in a plastic carton with card dividers to sort them into the month when they should be sown. Then when I've sown most of them, I sort them into "Sown/spare" and "Still is use". Then I can't remember whether I decided I was finished sowing parsely or not, so I have to look everywhere for it. Then I find the carrot seeds in the wrong place because I only have the inner packet and I couldn't read what it said on it. Then I find the parsely seeds I thought I'd lost, lurking in the pocket of my gardening jacket. And what are the cornflower seeds doing in with the vegetables? And why did I ever imagine I would grow asters from seed? Have I really had them since 2003, the date on the packet?

As you can see, my system is not yet perfect. I really must go and sort out the seeds once more ...

Just don't put any seeds in the tool-caddy you use around the garden and then leave the whole lot out in the rain, OK?

Possible to sow more peas and beans

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 19:16

With peas, I think when you try opening a pod straight from the plant, you'll know they're ready when they're good and sweet. If you leave them until the pods bulge, they get a bit tough and starchy.

There's still time to sow some more peas (not so sure about broad beans), although best not to do it on the same site.

Talkback: Top 10 plants for containers

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 14:29

If you don't have old hankies to hand, a J-cloth or similar lining the lower section and base of the pot will help to keep out beasties such as vine weevils and woodlice. Or (possibly, but not tried), any odd scraps of horticultural fleece would do the job,

Potatoes (again-sorry!)

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 09:15

Extra water?!! If your weather is anything like ours, that won't be a problem!

On GW last Friday. Monty said there wasn't much need for water until the plants are in flower. I grow Charlotte (second earlies) which are usually just about ready by now, but they're very slow this year. Their flowers often fall off soon after aqppearing, but by then the potatoes are well formed. This year there are only a couple with flowers on so far. I'm hoping that the last week of rain will be plumping them up now.

Wind damage to your plants..

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 20:33

I was out at 9.30 pm pm Thursday shoving extra stakes in around my broad beans, I could hardly sleep for worrying about them, but they seem to have survived OK. A few foxgloves and lupins have collapsed, and some asparagus, and the poppies are all smashed up, By this evening (Sat) the wind has dropped and the garden seems to be quietly recovering from the shock.

I did find some discoloured leaves on my outdoor tomatoes - could this be the cold winds? or could it be the beginnings of blight? I'd have thought it was too cold for blight yet.


And yes, I wondered what planet Monty was on last night. He referred back to the Jubilee pageant as if it had already taken place, but it has hardly stopped raining and blowing since then and he didn't seem to have noticed this.

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Secateurs open?

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What not to grow

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Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 25    Views: 13648
Last Post: 06/06/2014 at 22:33

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 1787
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
12 threads returned